Monday, February 19, 2007

Love That Dog

My little sister gave us Love That Dog for Valentine's Day. We read it together out loud last night.

Love that book.


Susan Creech describes the book and her inspiration:
Love That Dog is the story of Jack, his dog, his teacher, and words. The story develops through Jack's responses to his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, over the course of a school year. At first, his responses are short and cranky: "I don't want to" and "I tried. Can't do it. Brain's empty." But as his teacher feeds him inspiration, Jack finds that he has a lot to say and he finds ways to say it.

Jack is both stubborn and warm-hearted, and he can be both serious and funny. Although he hates poetry at first, he begins to find poems that inspire him. All year long, he is trying to find a way to talk about his beloved dog, Sky, and the poems
his teacher offers him eventually give him a way to do that.

Jack becomes especially fond of a poem by Walter Dean Myers titled "Love That Boy," and it is this poem that finally gives Jack a way to tell the whole story of his dog, Sky. In gratitude, Jack invites Walter Dean Myers to visit his class.


Walter Dean Myers' poem, "Love That Boy", has been hanging on my bulletin board for the past three or four years. It's at eye level, so I probably glance at it a dozen times a day. I love that poem--there is so much warmth and exuberance in it. (The poem is reprinted at the back of Love That Dog.)

One day as I glanced at this poem, I started thinking about the much-loved boy in Myers' poem. I wondered what that boy might love. Maybe a pet? A dog? Maybe also a teacher? And whoosh--out jumped Jack's voice.

Here's Waleter Dean Myers' "Love That Boy":

Love that Boy,
Like a rabbit loves to run.

I said I love that boy,
Like a rabbit loves to run.

Love to call him in the morning.
Love to call him,
"Hey there, son!"

He walk like his Grandpa,
Grins like his Uncle Ben.
I said he walk like his Grandpa,
And grins like his Uncle Ben.
Grins when he's happy,
When he sad, he grins again.

His mama like to hold him,
Like to feed him cherry pie.
I said his mama like to hold him.
Like to feed him that cherry pie.
She can have him now,
I'll get him by and by

He got long roads to walk down
Before the setting sun.
I said he got a long, long road to walk down
Before the setting sun.
He'll be a long stride walker,
And a good man before he done.
Walter Dean Myers

1 Comments:

Blogger Garry Wilmore said...

I had never even heard of that poem before I saw it here, and I like it. And before I'm done, I, too, hope to be a "long stride walker," and a good man as well.

8:40 PM  

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